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Email marketing is still an important part of just about any digital marketing program. Here are a few tips for making it more effective–and making it work better with your website.

Personalize

The difference between your email being read and your email being deleted–or a recipient unsubscribing–is relevance. If your email isn’t relevant, it’s going to be ignored.

And while “Hi, Andrew” is better than “Hi, friend” (and certainly better than “Hi, [name]”) that kind of personalization is not going to increase relevance.

Similarly, your design and layout need to fit the subscriber’s needs and expectations, but that alone won’t be sufficient, either.

Relevant content is what counts. And keeping content relevant can be done two ways:

  1. Ask
  2. Automate

You can ask your subscribers what they want to hear about by giving them the ability to choose what topics they are interested in. This means you’ll likely need to send two, three, or four different versions of your email you need to fit the various audience segments you seek to engage with.

Second, as your list grows and email becomes more valuable, you can invest in the kinds of tools that track content consumption so you know how each subscriber’s interests change over time. You also know exactly what they’ve seen so you don’t offer them the same content again. Nothing encourages hitting the delete button like seeing repeat content.

Go mobile

Even if your website and email analytics tell you that your audience is more desk-bound than mobile, understand that the reality is that initial triage happens on a mobile device for many of us.

That is, we may not read emails in full on your phone, but we often weed through the unwanted while we’re waiting in line or in transit or anywhere we have a few minutes to kill–and our mobile devices. Relevance and importance rule the day here, but an email that can’t be deciphered isn’t doing itself any favors. Don’t get deleted just because you think mobile doesn’t matter to your audience. It almost certainly does.

Ask for action

Give your audience the option to engage further. Encourage them to visit your website. Get them to deepen their relationship with you–otherwise, you’re just publishing free content. Every email you send should have a “next step” that the content steers them toward.

Don’t push too hard, though. Remember that email can be a great way to nurture relationships over time. For most B2B businesses, though, it is not an ideal primary sales/marketing tool.

Be social

If you’ve got content that is truly viral-worthy, it needs to be easily shareable to get the process started. It won’t go viral if it can’t be shared. And even if it’s not quite that exciting, you do want to make it easy for a prospect to share with her team. Make it easy or it won’t happen.

Don’t forget to monitor your metrics. Email marketing remains a valuable tool for nearly all B2B marketers and a few simple improvements can yield even better results.


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About Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage profitable engagement with their audience. He holds a degree in Philosophy from Bucknell University in one hand and, frequently, a glass of scotch in the other.

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